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Would not ship an OTF

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by cigarrodog, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. cigarrodog

    cigarrodog Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 18, 2014
    My state says it’s legal for me to own and carry an auto knife. I’ve bought two OTFs from out of state Dealers with no issues. Today I tried to purchase one from BladeHQ, online. At the end of the process, there was a form to check off. It also said it was illegal to ship automatic knives across state lines, unless I was involved in law enforcement, military, or the Federal Government. None of these applied to me, and I wasn’t going to lie.

    I love dealing with BHQ, so this is no knock, at all, on them. My question is: are the other dealers breaking the law?
  2. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    It is illegal to ship automatics across state lines be it a dealer or individual. So while you can buy and own and even carry them in some states there is still that law against shipping across state lines. Unless you are LE or Active Military.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  3. cigarrodog

    cigarrodog Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 18, 2014
    Got it. Thank you. So you are saying that all the dealers(and there are more than a few) who ship, are breaking the law.
  4. robgmn


    Oct 30, 2015
    Tread VERY carefully with that question on this forum.
  5. zzyzzogeton


    Feb 17, 2013
    The businesses who use that question are interpreting the law in a BS manner.

    The applicability of the Switchblade Act, re: Armed Forces personnel and LEOs, reads (nutshell version), you have to be the procurement officer (the person who buys stuff in large quantities) or a supply officer (the person who redistributes what the procurement officer bought) for a Armed Forces or law enforcement organization in order to SHIP switchblades across state lines and not have to pay a fine or go to jail. Nothing about "be in the military to buy". Nothing about "be a LEO to buy".

    Here's the text of the law -


    What the businesses are doing is misinterpreting or "creatively interpreting" what "Section 4, paragraph 3", which prescribes the Armed Forces exceptions to the law, actually says.

    Breaking 4-3 down in computer code logic -- it says -

    IF an Armed Forces member is just doing their job


    IF the Armed Forces member ships switchblades across state lines as part of their job


    the $2,000 fine and 5 years in jail penalties do not apply.

    No where does the law say that if you are in the Armed Forces or law enforcement you can buy a switchblade. The law NEVER says ANYTHING about BUYING switchblades.

    The law simply says

    No one can "SELL/SHIP/Manufacture to introduce" switchblades across state lines,

    but if they do,

    and they fall into 1 of the 4 exceptions categories,

    then they don't go to jail and they don't pay a fine..

    So if you lie about being a LEO or being in the military when you try to buy a switchblade you are not breaking any Federal laws dealing with the PURCHASE of switchblades.

    Someone with a burr up their hiney MIGHT think you're guilty of "impersonating a LEO" or "impersonating a member of the Armed Forces", but that's a whole nother kettle of fish.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    cigarrodog and tom19176 like this.
  6. anthony cheeseboro

    anthony cheeseboro Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    I am pretty sure that dealers can have knives delivered to them or send them back to the manufacturer. Switchblade law reminds me of the legalization of marijuana in some states. I am sticking to buying autos from local dealers just to be safe.
    Lapedog likes this.
  7. glistam


    Dec 27, 2004
    Yes. Yes they are. This law is routinely violated by online knife retailers, even well established ones. Why aren't they all getting charged with crimes? Because it's very hard to enforce for interstate sale, due to domestic mail being private, and even an X-ray won't distinguish most autos from otherwise legal folders unless the examiner is a serious knife expert. Federal law enforcement would have to set up a sting operation to catch anyone, and they frankly don't have the will or the time to do so.
    cigarrodog likes this.
  8. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Honestly they should just lift the weapons ban law. They took away knives and guns in the UK, so now terrorists just run over about 10 people per week.
  9. glistam


    Dec 27, 2004
  10. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
  11. robgmn


    Oct 30, 2015
    You forgot to take the idea of not being a "purchaser" a step further.
    "Possession" is also regulated under the federal guidelines.

    "Whoever, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), manufactures, sells, or possesses any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

    If someone with a burr up their butt DOES decide to go after someone with a 'blade, the excuse "I didn't BUY it, so it must be legal" will go over like a fart in church.
    Federal law trumps state law. Sates may make it legal, yet it still violates Federal Regs (like the aforementioned marijuana issue).
    So, does the seller/shipper become an accessory when a person receives their shiny new switchblade?

    A topic for a different thread, but it's kind of funny that the same people who scream vitriol from the rooftops about Chinese counterfeiters "breaking the law" will proudly show off their switchblades...
    stbob and cigarrodog like this.
  12. zzyzzogeton


    Feb 17, 2013
    rob, I was trying not to make a long post longer by going off track into the "possession in Indian Territory and special maritime areas" quagmire.:D
    cigarrodog likes this.
  13. robgmn


    Oct 30, 2015
    Quagmire indeed!
    But then again, I live in a state that trusts me to walk into the capital with a loaded gun on my hip, but doesn't trust me to even OWN a knife that opens with the push of a button.
    Talk about a quagmire...
  14. sam eib

    sam eib

    Apr 16, 2017
    Wonder why all of the sudden they are doing this after all the years of selling them to anyone that ordered them?
  15. OhShoot


    Jan 23, 2011
    Blade HQ simply has fine print agreement at end of order you accept regarding various stuff, and the switchblade stuff is buried in there (just confirmed last night). Same as it's always been AFAIK. KnifeCenter on the other hand currently has a special pop up screen regarding an auto order that you must accept.

    - OS
  16. cigarrodog

    cigarrodog Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 18, 2014
    A telephone call did the trick. Had to email FOID Card. Thank you for all your responses.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  17. MattKnives


    Feb 20, 2018
    Sounds like I should avoid selling OTFs on eBay.
  18. flphotog


    Jul 10, 2014
    I wouldn't hold my breath on that one, looks like it was introduced on 01/03/2017 and nothing has happened since, I would say it's dead in the water barring a major miracle.
  19. Materials Separator

    Materials Separator

    Nov 26, 2018
    Since necro'n this thread has previously unobjected to precedents, I'd like to point out that States are neither territories nor possessions of the United States, for the benefit of others who also found it via google.
    "Territories" are, not States, which have their own governments and their own tax systems (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).
    "Possessions of the United States" are, not States, which do not have their own governments and their own tax systems (Midway Island, Wake Island, Palmyra Island, Howland Island, Johnston Island, Baker Island, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, and other U.S. islands, cays, and reefs that are not part of any of the fifty states).
    There is nothing in Federal Law which specifically prohibits possession of a "switchblade" inside of a US State. The Federal law that exists is regarding interstate commerce only. They could try to pull some woo-woo about being in possession of something banned from interstate commerce, like the do with scheduled controlled substances, but switchblades have an exempted method for ending up in a State other than it was manufactured, and subsequently sold to the public inside that state.

  20. Knife_Collector_101


    Sep 21, 2018
    The Federal Swtichblade Act is a pretty convoluted piece of legislation. I've read it several times and it's no wonder people have such trouble understanding the meanings, applications, etc. As far as enforcement, it seems like the interstate commerce part is almost NEVER enforced, but enforcement on the importation front is more common since stuff coming from overseas is always subject to scrutiny by customs. Even so, I'm sure customs can't catch every switchblade imported from China or other places where they're manufactured.

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